Stanwick Discusses 'Roller Coaster' Season
Steele Stanwick's late-season Tewaaraton campaign, including 21 points in four NCAA tournament games, coincided with Virginia's surprise run to the national title. And Stanwick was rewarded for his individual efforts and the Cavaliers team success last Thursday night when he was named the Tewaaraton Award winner.
"It would be icing on the cake," Stanwick told LaxMagazine.com prior to the ceremony about possibly taking the honors. Here's the rest of a pre-ceremony interview from the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Looking back at the whole season, how would you describe it?
The best way to describe it is an emotional roller coaster. You start out the season pretty high and you hit some low points in the middle of the season, and you have to turn it around. To actually turn around and win the national championship hasn't really sunk in. If people said that we would have won the national championship without Rhamel and Shamel and won a final four game without Rhamel, Shamel and Colin Briggs I think people would be looking at you, like with eight heads. But it's a testament to this team and what we're all about.
I don't think many people thought we were going to be where we were, but the guys in the huddle believed where we would be. I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm real happy for the seniors and the coaching staff.
How did you guys get through this season? Did you lean on anybody for advice?
The captains really stuck together. Me, Bray Malphrus, John Haldy and Adam Ghitelman. We went through some tough times being captains. It was a tough year to be a captain in a lot of ways.
We went through some times where we really weren't sure what we were doing, but we were just always trying to do the right thing. It ended up working out. There were some tough decisions we had to make. We had to turn the program around a little bit. It's tough to stand up in the middle of a room and say stuff when you know not everyone is going to agree.
What's it like being here at the Tewaaraton Award, specifically hanging out with Rob Pannell for the first time?
It's been awesome getting to know the Pannell's, James [a Virginia commit who spent time with Stanwick on a recruiting visit] and Rob. I've always known him as No. 3 across the field scoring goals on us. It's nice to hang out with him. We had a great time and the Tewaaraton guys did a good job putting this thing on. It's pretty special just to be here and pretty cool to be mentioned in the same sentences as the guys.
Did you pay attention to what he was doing during the season?
It's hard to not to when he's on top of every box score, and tearing it up. You always keep an eye out on Rob. I have since his freshman year.
What would it mean for you to win this?
It'd be awesome. It's what all of us dream of when you're growing up, to be a finalist and to win the award. It's an honor just to be here, to even have a chance at winning it.